If only we confined our actions to bombing Daesh. In recent military adventures overseas, and nearer, has this country’s armed forces been able to restrict its action against armed forces or military targets alone?
The civilian bloodbaths of Iraq and Afghanistan stand testimony to the inability of armed forces, with or without ‘smart’ weaponry, to contain their violence. Of course civilian deaths in these conflicts have been sanitised in the Orwellian-speak of collateral damage; the language of the accountants of death who measure life in ‘bottom lines’ rather than in lives of children, women and men.
Modern methods of bombing densely populated towns and cities have proved that this method of warfare does not discriminate. From the Blitz 75 years ago to Syria today we know that the greater causalities will be non-combatants, often as not women and children. Sure a few of the wring ‘uns get caught up; but enough to justify the deaths of those innocents?
On the question of our support for right wing politicians in the past – ok, let’s leave that in the past and move forward. One way of moving forward is to tell any MP – and I don’t care if they’re called Beckett, Benn, Umunna or Watson – that if they can’t accept our Labour values then they stand a strong chance of being deselected.
Finally, statements such as: “But to simply withdraw support for MPs who want to fight Daesh in a different way to ours…” are an obscenity.
In the first instance those MPs who voted for war last night will not be fighting; no they’ll be sending others to fight and to fight from the relative safety of 15,000 feet and higher.
In the second instance it isn’t only Daesh who they’ll be fighting, as it is inevitable they will draw civilians into the fighting arena they create with their bombs. And anyway, isn’t a fight a two-or-more sided affair with all parties trading blows? How can bombing civilians be classed as a fight when only one participant is actually raining down blows?